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European Rally Championship
Updated: 32 min 11 sec ago

Johnston learns plenty in ERC

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 15:00

Sean Johnston completed his first Tarmac round of the FIA European Rally Championship when he placed ninth in ERC3 on Rally Islas Canarias.

But the experience gained meant more to the ex-sportscar racer than his capture of championship points as he continues to build his knowledge of stage rallying.

“There is more room for improvement, which is great and that’s why we are here, to learn and improve,” said the American, part of the Peugeot-powered Saintéloc Junior Team line-up. “It’s a great opportunity for us to grow and develop and I’m feeling really good.

“I made some big steps with my driving and we know where the next steps are. I was also able to agree with my engineers the direction to go in and the changes we were making were yielding the effect I wanted to have.”

The post Johnston learns plenty in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Mayr-Melnhof targets more ERC action

Sun, 05/12/2019 - 12:00

Niki Mayr-Melnhof wants to continue his FIA European Rally Championship adventure after placing P10 on his full debut on Rally Islas Canarias.

The Austrian champion was unregistered when he took part on Rally Liepāja last October but was a contender for points on the Spanish Tarmac event earlier this month and made the most of the opportunity.

“It was a fantastic rally and it’s an amazing feeling to be at the finish,” said Mayr-Melnhof. “It was really tough for sure, the toughest rally I ever did with extremely tough competition. My co-driver, Poldi Welsersheimb, didn’t put a foot wrong all weekend, I can make some improvements but we have a really good team.”

Of his future plans, Mayr-Melnhof said: “I would love to do the whole of the ERC because in the long term we really want to attack here so we need this first year to learn and finish every rally and then see what we can do next year.”

The post Mayr-Melnhof targets more ERC action appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Stengg turns a negative into a positive in ERC3 Junior

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 18:00

Roland Stengg was able to turn a negative into a positive on round two of the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship earlier this month.

Stengg made his first start of the season in a hired Opel ADAM R2 after a testing crash kept him out of the Azores opener.

Although a double retirement meant luck wasn’t on his side on Rally Islas Canarias either, he’s already looking ahead to his next event to “make it better”.

“It was a difficult start,” said the Austrian. “I was not driving clean, throwing the car into the corners. It’s a very demanding event on the tyres and I was losing a lot of time in the uphill sections so I have to change my driving.

“One kilometre before the finish of stage six we heard a loud bang and we couldn’t drive on. When we got out we saw the caster arm of the front-right wheel was completely broken. There was no more damage other than that. We didn’t hit anything before so it was bad luck. But I won’t have to wait too long to make it better.”

The Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship resumes on Rally Liepāja from 24-26 May.

The post Stengg turns a negative into a positive in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tejpar makes her point on ERC3 Junior debut

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 15:00

FIA ERC3 Junior Championship rookie Nabila Tejpar made her point on Rally Islas Canarias in more ways than one.

As well as finishing in the top 10 in the Pirelli-backed category, the Briton out-scored Emma Falcón in the ERC Ladies’ Trophy rankings as she built her experience of international competition.

“It was a tough event but I’m really, really happy because I’ve learned a lot, which was good and now I can take that forward,” said Tejpar, who was hampered by not being able to test on the island before the rally and being forced to run with a long-ratio gearbox in her Peugeot 208 R2. “With the long-ratio gearbox we were watching the time hemorrhage on Friday and it was frustrating. But I just had to deal with it, there was nothing I could do about it.

“I improved my times, learned where to push, where not to push, how much grip there is, things like that. It’s been a really good learning experience, I’m happy with the kilometres I got and I can’t complain.”

The post Tejpar makes her point on ERC3 Junior debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Griebel boosted despite ERC progress over podium

Sat, 05/11/2019 - 12:00

Marijan Griebel is remaining positive in the FIA European Rally Championship, despite late tyre damage ending his hopes of a Rally Islas Canarias podium.

Griebel was in a battle with fellow ERC3 Junior graduate Chris Ingram when misfortune struck on the penultimate stage, dropping the German talent from third to ninth at the finish in Las Palmas.

The Baumschlager Rallye & Racing-run driver explained what had gone wrong. “In this very narrow part in the beginning of the penultimate stage I slightly touched some stone on the outside of a corner and immediately the tyre was flat. We drove between 12 and 13 kilometres with a puncture so all our chances went out. It would have been a podium.”

Reflecting on his performance at the wheel of the ŠKODA Fabia R5 he shares with co-driver Stefan Kopczyk, Griebel said: “I’m quite pleased with my pace compared to P11 two years ago. It was just bad luck today.”

The post Griebel boosted despite ERC progress over podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Things can only get better for positive Poloński in ERC Abarth Rally Cup

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 18:00

Dariusz Poloński is predicting a bright future in the FIA European Rally Championship-based Abarth Rally Cup following Rally Islas Canarias.

Although Poloński was forced out of leg one with damaged suspension, his return on the second day allowed him to gain plenty of experience of his Abarth 124 rally.

“Actually we are really happy about the kilometres and the stages we managed to do,” said the multiple Polish championship class winner. “We did some progress on the second loop and for sure we know something more about the car, which is good.

“Gravel is next and I hear the car is even better on gravel, actually the stage was so slippery where we hit the front-left wheel that it was familiar to gravel!”

The post Things can only get better for positive Poloński in ERC Abarth Rally Cup appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Von Thurn und Taxis explains lucky and unlucky ERC return

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:00

Albert von Thurn und Taxis returned to the FIA European Rally Championship on Rally Islas Canarias and got lucky and unlucky.

Finishing P17 in his Baumschlager Rallye & Racing ŠKODA Fabia R5, the German should have finished higher up the order had it not been for a succession of mechanical issues on the final day. However, he admitted afterwards that he was lucky to finish at all.

“In the morning we had a problem with the driveshaft,” said the German driver. “Then we had a right-rear wheel bearing that was mobile and started creating all sorts of problems on the rear wheel and I wasn’t able to tighten it up properly. Our brakes went, we bled them twice, but they didn’t come back and then the brake disc burst. It’s really remarkable noting happened in such a situation with no brakes on the downhill part. We were really unlucky but it was not our fault.”

The post Von Thurn und Taxis explains lucky and unlucky ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Herczig’s ERC season back on track

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 06:00

Norbert Herczig got his FIA European Rally Championship campaign firmly back on track with fourth place on Rally Islas Canarias last week.

MOL Racing’s four-time Hungarian champion, who retired on the season-opening Azores Rallye, got to within five seconds from the podium with two stages remaining only for a damaged tyre to rule out a top-three finish. He eventually finished fourth in his Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 following Pierre-Louis Loubet’s final-stage off.

“Unfortunately, we got a puncture some kilometres before the finish of stage 15,” Herczig explained. “We lost some places but was able to push in the last stage and we were quite successful, we could reach the fourth position, which was absolutely perfect for us.”

While a steering issue wrecked his Azores Rallye effort, there were no such problems on Rally Islas Canarias.

“The car was absolutely fantastic the whole weekend, we didn’t have a problem,” said Herczig. “We have learned many things about the car and the tyres as well. I hope we will be able to keep our speed for the next rallies.”

The post Herczig’s ERC season back on track appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Schwedt out of luck in ERC

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 18:00

Roman Schwedt suffered frustration when the Pirelli-supported FIA ERC3 Junior Championship resumed on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend.

Hampered by suspension issues in testing and a steering issue on the opening morning of the all-asphalt event, the German teenager was forced to retire on the final day with an overheating engine in his Team ROMO Peugeot 208 R2.

“We can only learn and the second loop was really good for me,” said Schwedt. “I had a good feeling with the car, I like the stages but I need more kilometres for the time to come. In the second loop my karting experience helped. But then our engine overheated on the final day and we must stop because the temperatures were over 110 degrees.”

The post Schwedt out of luck in ERC appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Lundberg in the points again in ERC3 Junior

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 12:00

Elias Lundberg scored more points in his maiden FIA ERC3 Junior Championship campaign with ninth place in class on Rally Islas Canarias.

With limited asphalt experience, the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver could have finished even higher up the order had it not been for a damaged tyre on the penultimate stage.

“It was really good experience for my first time here and we learned a lot through the weekend,” said the Swede, a podium finisher in the season-opening Azores Rallye. “Sadly, we had a front-right puncture on the stage before the end and dropped from seventh to ninth. Apart from that we had no real problems, not even a scratch on the car.”

The post Lundberg in the points again in ERC3 Junior appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Tsouloftas makes big strides on ERC Tarmac debut

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 06:00

Alexandrous Tsouloftas made his debut on a sealed-surface round of the FIA European Rally Championship, finishing fourth in the ERC1 Junior category on Rally Islas Canarias.

Despite the enormity of the challenge, the Cypriot was able to learn plenty and improve his pace considerably by the end of the event in his Toksport WRT ŠKODA Fabia R5.

“Overall I’m really happy,” Tsouloftas said afterwards. “It was a great weekend of experience for us from the beginning to the end. We improved every stage, we had no accidents, no drama apart from a puncture. Once we got the confidence we could move further up. We started off with two seconds per kilometre off the pace but we got it down to one second. I’m really happy we could increase our performance.”

The post Tsouloftas makes big strides on ERC Tarmac debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Klausz scores after “horrible” ERC3 Junior start

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 21:00

Kristóf Klausz described the start to his first Rally Islas Canarias outing as “horrible”, before going on to score points in eighth place in FIA ERC3 Junior after overcoming a a fuel pump issue.

Partnered with new co-driver Ágnes Farnadi the Hungarian youngster admitted to early struggles behind the wheel of his Pirelli-equipped Peugeot 208 R2.

“The first loop was horrible,” said the Hungarian. “We couldn’t find a good rhythm and we were really slow compared to the others. It was easy to lose time at the start but it started to get better until we had a fuel pump problem on Friday afternoon. We fixed it and on leg two we got close to the fourth place. We learned a lot and have a lot of experiences from this rally and this type of Tarmac.”

The post Klausz scores after “horrible” ERC3 Junior start appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

No excuses as ERC Junior returnee Hokkanen suffers double blow

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 18:00

Miika Hokkanen praised his new team Mavisa Sport and new co-driver Rami Suorsa following Rally Islas Canarias – but then labelled his own performance on this return to FIA ERC3 Junior Championship action as “very bad”.

Forced to sit out the Azores Rallye season opener to recover from shoulder surgery, the former Finnish 2WD champion had high hopes of a strong start to his second season in the Pirelli-supported category.

While a double puncture caused his exit on day one, Hokkanen admitted that his restart on leg two wasn’t as good as it should have been.

“I’m just sad I was very bad this weekend,” said Hokkanen, a double ERC3 Junior podium finisher in 2018. “Sometimes it is what it is but I don’t see the fact I don’t have much experience on Tarmac as an excuse. I should have been much better this weekend but it didn’t work out this way. I’m sure it can’t go worse than this.”

Of his Friday exit, Hokkanen explained what had gone wrong: “In the second stage we clipped a bit the inside of some house and it broke the right rear tyre. We drive the whole stage with the puncture. After the stage we changed the tyre and then in the road section some metal piece got through the rubber and we lost another tyre. After that we needed to retire because we only had one spare. I have never got a puncture in a road section before so it’s very bad luck.”

The post No excuses as ERC Junior returnee Hokkanen suffers double blow appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Junior Grigorov’s 4500 kilometres to paradise

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 15:00

Grigor Grigorov travelled 4500 kilometres from his native Bulgaria to make his FIA ERC3 Junior Championship debut – and said taking part on Rally Islas Canarias was “like being in paradise”.

Grigorov overcame a minor brake issue on leg one to finish an encouraging sixth in the Pirelli-supported category alongside former ERC stalwart co-driver and compatriot Yanaki Yanakiev.

Afterwards, Grigorov said: “It was a really difficult rally, my first time here and my first time in the ERC. But I loved the stages, they were narrow and twisty. It was like being in paradise and that’s what I told my father when I called him.”

“I live in Sofia which is around 4500 kilometres from here. It’s a tough logistic but I was happy to be here and happy with my performance. Big thanks to my mechanics, my team, my sponsors, which bring me here at the finish. I’m really glad and happy to be a part of this championship. We will continue to develop ourselves and push harder the next time.”

The post ERC Junior Grigorov’s 4500 kilometres to paradise appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

ERC Rally Hungary gathers momentum following ‘anniversary’ meeting

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:00

Tamás Őry, Promoter of Rally Hungary, and Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, used last week’s Rally Islas Canarias to meet and discuss the ongoing preparations taking place for the newest addition to the FIA European Rally Championship calendar.

One year on from a first meeting in Gran Canaria that set in motion the Nyíregyháza-based Rally Hungary joining the ERC roster from 2019, Őry and Ley met as firm friends to discuss some of the finer details for the season showdown from 8-10 November.

“We met Tamás and his colleagues a year ago, and work went well from the very first moment between us,” said Ley. “They are very professional and their approach is similar to ours. They organised a high-standard rally last year, and honestly I was surprised by the strength of the Hungarian field, so I am very glad that Rally Hungary has become part of the ERC.

“Fortunately, there are several good Hungarian drivers in the ERC, Tibor Érdi Jr and Kristóf Klausz are great friends of ours for a long time now, and we are happy that Norbert Herczig joined last year. I expect a big show in Nyíregyháza and not just because of them. It is always interesting to introduce a new rally into the championship and the ERC drivers are very excited to fight against the local heroes at a new venue. They have already started to ask about the rally and the availability of onboard camera footage. They are eagerly awaiting the season finale.”

Őry said: “It all started a year ago on the Canary Islands, where we first sat down to talk to Jean-Baptiste. At that time we could only hope that our co-operation would be so successful within such a short period of time. Our race was much appreciated by the international promoter last year. And he confirms it whenever we meet. He did so on the Canary Islands, too, where we already discussed some details, however, these small things could determine the success of an event.

“The organising committee of the rally was already set up in February. Last year’s rally was put together by a very professional team and we would like to strengthen it even more. The stages are 85 per cent the same as last year, but some modifications will take place. As of the field, it is a great pleasure to see that there are three permanent Hungarian participants in the ERC, since they help the whole ERC to be in the spotlight. Many foreign competitors have already informed us that they plan to enter our rally. They would represent a huge challenge for the drivers of the Hungarian championship.”

The post ERC Rally Hungary gathers momentum following ‘anniversary’ meeting appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Falcón happy on ERC return

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 09:00

Emma Falcón said she was “happy” after finishing a record-breaking fifth in class on Rally Islas Canarias.

The ERC Ladies’ Trophy winner from 2018 beat Tamara Molinaro’s previous best result of sixth in ERC1 Junior – the category for young stars in R5 cars – to mark her return to FIA European Rally Championship action.

“We are happy because we are learning and improving with this car all the time,” said the Canary Islander, who was competing in a Escuderia Fuertwagen Motorsport Citroën C3 R5. “It was only my third rally with this car so we need to have more kilometres to have more feeling. But I am happy with result. The car felt better than at the beginning and I hope now we can go to Roma di Roma Capitale.”

Apart from a puncture minor gearbox issue, which Falcón admitted was self-inflicted, she experienced a trouble-free outing.

The post Falcón happy on ERC return appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

FPAK-supported Antunes scores ERC3 Junior podium

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 06:00

FPAK Portugal Team ERC’s Pedro Antunes scored his best ERC3 Junior finish so far with third on an event he admitted had proved more of a challenge than he first expected.

However, by adopting a mature approach, the Portuguese promise kept calm and kept improving throughout the 16-stage Rally Islas Canarias.

“We can take some positives from this event, it was a big rally and a difficult one but we got some good points for the third position and we managed to climb a little bit in the championship,” said Antunes, who is competing in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship with the support his national federation.

“We took a lot of learning about how we should drive and how we shouldn’t and that’s also the point of why we are here in the European championship.

“We expected to have some difficulties but there were many more than we expected. It’s a difficult rally with stages that are really particular. We could not find the right speed and the right way to drive at first. But then I changed some things in my driving, I approached it a little more slowly, more relaxed and my times got better.”

The post FPAK-supported Antunes scores ERC3 Junior podium appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

High-grip Tarmac no problem for ERC Junior Munster

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 18:00

Grégoire Munster tried high-grip Tarmac for the first time on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend – and passed the test with flying colours in a fine fourth position in the FIA ERC3 Junior Championship category.

On only his second start since suffering concussion in sizeable crash on the Belgian championship TAC Rally, Munster adapted well to the Gran Canaria roads in the ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team ADAM R2 he shares with co-driver and fellow Belgian Louis Louka.

Despite his lack of experience, Munster capitalised on his effective pacenotes to improve his speed and car set-up throughout the event, setting several top-three times on the last loop.

“It went well,” he said afterwards. “We still need to learn to drive on high-grip Tarmac because it was the first time. But we increased a bit the pace and on the final loop we were always in the top three so we improved a lot from the first to the second day.”

The post High-grip Tarmac no problem for ERC Junior Munster appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Ingram convinced outright ERC success can be his

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 12:00

Chris Ingram is convinced he can win outright in the FIA European Rally Championship following his second consecutive overall podium finish on Rally Islas Canarias last weekend.

After claiming third-place spoils on the Azores Rallye in March, Ingram finished second on the Spanish Tarmac event despite early confidence struggles.

“I started the rally with no confidence,” the Toksport WRT driver admitted. “I was down in ninth after stage one having been P16 on the Qualifying Stage. But when we’ve got the seat time we’re on the pace with everyone. I just need to find the budget to get more seat time because we can win these rallies.”

He continued: “I just need the seat time and the confidence. I’ve got a lot of pressure on me but I need to get rid of that because we’ve got the potential I believe.

“It was really intense at the end with all the battles going on but two fastest times on those two stages out of service was a really good confidence boost. We couldn’t take any risks, we had to say focused. I have to say a massive thanks to the team for the perfect car, to my co-driver Ross Whittock, to Michelin for the tyres, just everything has been perfect.

“We’re in a good position at the moment but we need to keep thinking about the championship. I’m confident so bring on the next one.”

Ingram will be featured on the ERC All Access magazine programme on Eurosport tonight. Check local listings for details.

The post Ingram convinced outright ERC success can be his appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

Semerád, 17, proves talent on ERC debut

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 06:00

ACCR Czech Rally Team’s Petr Semerád, 17, proved his talent in no uncertain terms with a hugely impressive FIA ERC3 Junior Championship debut on Rally Islas Canarias.

The Czech federation-supported promise, starting his first international rally, battled back from a roll on stage two to finish seventh out of 15 starters in the Pirelli-backed category.

Due to the late nature of his deal, his locally hired Peugeot 208 R2 only arrived in Gran Canaria on Thursday morning, which was too late for scrutineering and resulted in the teenager being forced to miss Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage.

But he shrugged off that setback – and his rollover – to reach the finish alongside co-driver Jiří Hlávka, who completed the road sections because Semerád is still too young to hold a driving licence and had to obtain special permission to tackle the event’s 16 all-asphalt stages.

“The roll was my fault,” said Semerád. “In the second stage in the first two kilometres there was a left hairpin and there were two layers of asphalt. I used the handbrake and the left-front wheel clipped the second layer of the asphalt and we just rolled. We lost 25s, it was so quick! Everybody ran to the car, put it back up, we start and go. The geometry was fine, it was braking, and turning.”

Semerád, who reported being slowed by a down-on-power engine later in the rally, continued: “It’s amazing to finish my first international event. I’m really pleased with the result. On the last two stages we’ve shown that if we want to and if we try we can push because when it’s going downhill there is no restriction of the engine so we can be fast.”

Semerád’s fellow ACCR Czech Rally Team driver Jan Talaš, the reigning Czech 2WD and Junior champion, completed leg one in eighth position but was excluded when it was found his car was underweight, the result of a miscalculation due to the fact both driver and co-driver are extremely light. Meanwhile, ACCR Czech Rally Team captain Vojtĕch Štajf finished P11 overall.

The post Semerád, 17, proves talent on ERC debut appeared first on FIA ERC | European Rally Championship.

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Kalendarz 2019

21-23.03.2019:

Azores Airlines Rallye (Portugalia)

02-04.05.2019

Rally Islas Canarias (Hiszpania)

24-26 05.2019

Rally Liepāja (Łotwa)

28-30.06.2019

Rajd Polski

19-21.07.2019

Rally di Roma Capitale (Włochy)

16-18.08.2019

Barum Czech Rally Zlín (Czechy)

27-29.09.2019:

Cyprus Rally (Cypr)

08-10.11.2019:

Rally Hungary (Węgry)